Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,
Hagerstown, Md., September 14, 1862
Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws,
General: General Longstreet moves down this morning to occupy the Boonsborough Valley, so as to protect your flank from attacks from forces coming from Frederick, until the operations at Harper’s Ferry are finished. I desire your operations there to be pushed on as rapidly as possible, and, if the point is not ultimately taken, so arrange it that your forces may be brought up the Boonsborough Valley. General Stuart, with a portion of General D. H. Hill’s forces, holds the gap between Boonsborough and Middletown, and Hampton’s and Munford’s brigades of cavalry occupy Burkittsville and the and the pass through the mountains there. If Harper’s Ferry should be taken, the road will be open to you to Sharpsburg. Around the mountains from Sharpsburg the road communicates with Boonsborough and Hagerstown.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R E Lee
Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. 19, Part 2, p. 608
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 September 12